Food, Activity and Bodies (FAB) Kids is a school outreach project based on the importance of healthy lifestyles. It’s a free, fun and educational workshop aimed at encouraging children to think critically about their lifestyle choices (with regards to nutrition and physical activity in particular).
The project, led by Dr Mark Edwards, is being delivered by research staff in the University of Bristol’s Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences (ENHS). We do a lot of research into physical activity and nutrition, and much of this research is conducted in primary schools in Bristol and the surrounding counties. FAB Kids is our way of thanking the schools and children who take part in our research.
The workshop is initially being offered to year 5 and 6 classes across Bristol and the surrounding area. FAB Kids combines the themes that are at the forefront of our research – Food (nutrition), Activity, and Bodies – and incorporates some exciting findings from our studies. FAB Kids is fun, hands-on, sociable, and underpinned by a strong educational message.
Where did the idea come from?
Bizarrely, FAB kids stems from a workshop on dinosaurs – if you’re an aspiring palaeontologist wondering which dinosaur, it was Thecodontosaurus antiquus (‘Theco’ for short). A Public Engagement course run by Ed Drewitt (Earth Sciences) so inspired ENHS staff that they went away and started building a workshop based around healthy lifestyles. We thought that if we swapped a dinosaur for a human and came up with some interesting ideas and content, we could create our own workshop based on the importance of healthy lifestyles. Thus began the long and enlightening journey to develop what has become the FAB Kids workshop.
At the heart of the FAB workshop are two principles: fun and education. First and foremost, FAB is an educational workshop that builds on the expertise of ENHS staff and the findings of our research. Many experts – academics, research staff, school teachers, and outreach officers – have been involved in its development and refinement. Every effort has been made to ensure scientific rigour and to satisfy elements of the National Curriculum. However, of equal importance has been the need to appeal to children. As such, we want to leave messages that are practicable and enjoyable.
The first FAB Kids workshop was delivered at Welton Primary School on Wednesday 7th May. Research staff and postgraduate students delivered the workshop to a great (and excellently behaved) Year 5 group. The FAB Kids volunteers absolutely loved the experience, and the children seemed to also. We received some really positive feedback from the children and teaching staff, and are excited about going into more schools. We are now recruiting more schools to receive the free FAB Kids workshop.
If you are interested in receiving a FAB Kids workshop at a school with which you are involved, or would like to learn more about the workshop contents, please contact Dr Mark Edwards. You can follow FAB Kids on twitter: @BristolFabKids